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Poster: FP   Date: Feb 7, 2010 12:39pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: best audio (NOT visual) quality for download?

Often, the audio from a smaller file such as an MP4 or Ogg will sound as subjectively good as that of the largest MPEG2. The lowest-bitrate MP4s and Real Media files generally look and sound awful. DIVX files can present a number of technical variables, so they're a gamble.

Keep in mind most of the Prelinger uploads are made from worn film prints or old tapes, and have quite a bit of noise to start with.

For my audio-video extractions, I always go for the largest MPEG2 file, just in case something went awry in the encoding/derivation process.

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Poster: Steve Nordby Date: Feb 8, 2010 6:10pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: best audio (NOT visual) quality for download?

If I recall correctly, the mpeg 2 version is made first and then other, more highly compressed encodings are made from the mpeg 2, so it should always sound better.

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Poster: radiotelevision Date: Feb 8, 2010 6:56am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: best audio (NOT visual) quality for download?

Thanks - this is helpful. The only thing I'm not sure about is that you wrote "Often, the audio from a smaller file such as an MP4 or Ogg will sound as subjectively good as that of the largest MPEG2. The lowest-bitrate MP4s and Real Media files generally look and sound awful." -- the videos I looked at had just one version of MP4s -- how can one tell if it's a "lowest-bitrate MP4" vs. one that sounds subjectively as good as that of the largest MPEG2? THANKS!

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Poster: FP   Date: Feb 8, 2010 7:55am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: best audio (NOT visual) quality for download?

Some older entries have more than one MP4 derivation. The smallest of those are usually of poor, or preview-only, quality.

Generally, the uploads in this archive that bear the PRELINGER ARCHIVES name are of higher technical quality and consistency than those found elsewhere among the archive's "ephemeral" films. However, there are many compelling oddities in the other collections, even though some are a little ragged in terms of encoding.

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Poster: radiotelevision Date: Feb 8, 2010 8:14am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: best audio (NOT visual) quality for download?

Ok, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

I am only just starting to play around with the idea of downloading and repurposing some of these ephemeral films in a sound project. I haven't looked outside the prelinger archives yet, in part because it seems that you can count on those to be firmly in the public domain - can you count on the ones coded as "public domain" in other archives to be so?

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Poster: FP   Date: Feb 8, 2010 12:38pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: best audio (NOT visual) quality for download?

With Feature Films and Classic TV, you may occasionally download something that is later determined to be in copyright and removed. As far as I know, you're pretty safe with the A/V Geeks section and Video Cellar's contributions.

In any event, even PD status doesn't necessarily allow unfettered free use of all audio from a program, especially as far as music is concerned. Music rights present a whole other ugly set of issues.

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Poster: radiotelevision Date: Feb 8, 2010 12:50pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: best audio (NOT visual) quality for download?

Thanks - I'll check out A/V Geeks and Video Cellar. I'm only really interested in using the narrations, although often there is music in the background during the narrating, which is certainly not ideal. In general, do you think it would be best to avoid using narrations unless there is no music in the background? What about music that is written and recorded just for the movie or commercial?

Sorry to keep asking questions, but I want to get started on the right foot. In all likelihood, nothing I make from these will ever receive enough attention for it to matter, but I like the idea of it being a legit use of material in the public domain.